Canada’s first tornado warning of 2016

June 9th, 2016 |

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 um, top) and Infrared Window (10.7 um, bottom) images [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm, top) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm, bottom) images [click to play animation]

GOES-13 (GOES-East) Visible (0.63 µm) and Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (above) showed that a cluster of thunderstorms began to develop in far southeastern Saskatchewan around 20 UTC on 09 May 2016, which quickly grew into a large supercell thunderstorm that moved across southwestern Manitoba. This thunderstorm exhibited overshooting tops and a prominent anvil-top plume in the visible images, along with a well-defined “enhanced-V” storm top signature in the Infrared imagery. The minimum cloud-top infrared brightness temperature was -66º C at 2230 UTC.

A higher resolution view was provided by POES AVHRR Visible (0.86 µm) and Infrared (12.0 µm) imagery at 2332 UTC (below) — details of the overshooting top, anvil plume, and enhanced-V signature showed up very well in the 1-km resolution images.

POES AVHRR Visible (0.86 um) and Infrared (12.0 um) images, with surface reports [click to enlarge]

POES AVHRR Visible (0.86 µm) and Infrared (12.0 µm) images, with surface reports [click to enlarge]

Although the storm produced a funnel cloud (prompting the issuance of Canada’s first tornado warning of 2016):


no tornado was confirmed. There were reports of golfball-size hail at Lauder (located just northeast of Melita, Manitoba CWEI) and wind gusts to 96 km/hour or 56 knots at Killarney (located east of Melita).

POES AVHRR CLAVR-x Cloud Top Temperature and Cloud Top Height products (below) indicated minimum values of -76º C and maximum values of 13 km, respectively.

POES AVHRR Cloud Top Temperature and Cloud Top Height products [click to enlarge]

POES AVHRR Cloud Top Temperature and Cloud Top Height products [click to enlarge]

A surface frontal analysis (below) showed that the thunderstorms formed in the broad warm sector of a large occluded low pressure system centered in Saskatchewan, with a secondary low moving eastward across northern  North Dakota — the RTMA surface wind field depicted the broad southerly flow of warm, moist air into Manitoba ahead of the storms (in addition to an interesting area of strong southwesterly flow into the rear flank of the storm).

POES AVHRR Infrared (12.0 µm) image, with surface fronts and RTMA surface winds [click to enlarge]

POES AVHRR Infrared (12.0 µm) image, with surface fronts and RTMA surface winds [click to enlarge]

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